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The Malik Report

Yeah, James Neal did butt-end Brendan Smith in the face yesterday

Presented without comment, other than to say that I couldn't believe this happened:

Update: Here's what Smith had to say about the butt-end and Logan Couture's slew-foot to MLive's Ansar Khan:

The play with Neal happened at 9:42 of the third period in the Red Wings' 4-3 win. Neal was penalized for high-sticking.

"I haven't seen it, but I felt he knew I was there and that was kind of intentional," Smith said.

Speaking after the game, Smith was still upset about Couture taking his feet out from under him in front of the Detroit net two days before.

"I personally didn't like the play," Smith said. "I can't defend myself. That's the biggest thing. When somebody can't defend themselves, that's when there's an issue. Obviously, it was intentional."

...

"I couldn't put any hand down to protect myself and I did land pretty hard on my head and that's why I had to go off and get an assessment," Smith said. "That makes me upset because there's a chance I could be out for a long time. You've seen it with Mule (Johan Franzen, out with a concussion). He hasn't been back since then (Jan. 6). Those head injuries are dangerous. At least the league saw it as it was and we'll keep going. Everybody is trying to battle for space. Things like that we got to crack down on."

Khan continues...

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From The Nashville Point Of View

from Matt Solvin of The Tennessean,

At times Saturday, it felt like the Detroit Red Wings never had left the Central Division. They hooked, obstructed and roughed .. and ultimately beat the Predators 4-3 in front of a sellout crowd.

read on for more on the game...

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Khan discusses the deadline with Ken Holland, who’s..fidgety

Mickey Redmond had suggested that the Red Wings would look to add some size and/or scoring to their bottom six forwards at the end of Saturday's Wings-Predators broadcast, and according to MLive's Ansar Khan (via RedWingsFeed), that may be the case:

"One minute I think I shouldn't do anything, the next minute I think these guys have played their (rears) off for 60 games, maybe I should help them a little bit," Holland said. "But help can't just be a body."

The Red Wings would like to add a player who provides a different dimension, like a skilled right-handed shooting defenseman or a big, gritty winger. But they're not prepared to part with valued assets (high-end prospects, their first-round pick or good, young roster players).

The Wings' 4-1-and-1 record on their 6-game road trip and Saturday's 4-3 win = Detroit owns a 35-15-and-11 record over the course of 61 games played (with 32 regulation-or-OT wins), and Detroit's 81 points place them 1 point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (with 2 games in hand) and 6 behind the Atlantic-leading Montreal Canadiens--and 10 points clear of the Boston Bruins as well.

Holland said he's been in touch with several teams and will continue to talk to general managers over the next couple of days leading up to the 3 p.m. Monday deadline. Cap space is not an issue since the Red Wings can acquire as much as $9 million in contracts.

That's not including placing Johan Franzen on the LTIR.

"We're exploring if there's players out there that would make our team better; not looking for a lateral move," Holland said. "If there's only lateral moves or the price is higher than we're prepared to pay, we won't do anything."

Khan mentions Erik Cole, Zbynek Michalek, Marek Zidlicky and Jeff Petry, but he suggests that the Wings aren't interested in Dion Phaneuf, and he reports that Holland's willing to move the team's 2nd round pick if necessary...

"We appear to be playing pretty good hockey, growing as a team," Holland said. "If we can find a player to upgrade us, give us another dimension, we'll do it."

...

"Our team has played at a high level," Holland said. "We've tried to test our depth, played Ouellet, Marchenko, (Petr) Mrazek for periods of time. We feel pretty good about our depth, the development of young players."

But Khan also notes that the Red Wings' coach admittedly harbors a very different perspective from his general manager for a simple reason--he's not a general manager (and Khan delivers quite the philosophical quote from Babcock in that regard)-but when Khan asked Babcock about the team's needs today, he got a roadblock answer:

"As the league goes on and the pace picks up and there's less space, some guys have really taken off and other guys haven't traveled at the same pace as the team," Babcock said. "So suddenly your needs might not be the same as they were a month ago."

Again, Khan continues, and I believe that the Wings will stand pat, but that's just my gut feeling, and my gut said that the Wings were going to get Jagr, so who knows.

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Predators: Wings snap Predators’ streaks, go 4-1-and-1 on 6-game road trip

The Detroit Red Wings appeared to be skating en route to yet another loss to the Predators at Bridgestone Arena halfway through the game and going into the 3rd period, when Matt Cullen, Mike Fisher and Shea Weber's consecutive goals wiped out Detroit's 2-0 and 2-1 leads, and Detroit was hacked, whacked, checked, smashed and otherwise mashed (including a Darren Helm injury) into appearing to hopefully look to earn a point out of the team's 6th and final road game of their massive 6-game Murderers' Row affair...

But Alexey Marchenko tied things up 3:56 into the 3rd, Tomas Tatar scored a "fluky" but earned power play goal and Jonas Gustavsson stopped 37 of 40 Predators shots as the Red Wings snapped Nashville's unbeaten-in-the-afternoon and unbeaten-more-than-once-in-regulation streaks (only the Wings have dropped no more than 1 regulation loss at a time), defeating Nashville 4-3 and wrapping up their 6-game trip with a 4-1-and-1 record against the Dallases, Chicagos, Anaheims, Nashvilles, San Joses and Nashvilles of the world.

Oh hey, by the way:

Continue Reading »

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Khan: Helm out with upper-body injury

Crap:

Also:

The Wings don't play again until Wednesday's tilt with the Rangers; the Griffins play in Chicago tonight.

Update: FSD showed Helm getting smeared into the boards by Weber and then going cheek-first into the boards when Seth Jones hit him, and then Helm left the game...

Update #2:

Update #3:

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Red Wings-Predators game-day updates: Ouellet recalled to substitute for Smith

This certainly makes much more sense than recalling Xavier Ouellet for trade purposes, so, ahead of today's game between the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings (3 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/Sportsnet/97.1 FM):

I had a feeling that Smith's hand was what was really acting up, and Khan added the following regarding Kyle Quincey's status:

Kyle Quincey isn't available because he's had only 45 minutes of practice time in the past nine days due to bone spurs in his ankle.

In any case, there are game previews to be read, including NHL.com's Brian Hedger's set-up...

Continue Reading »

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Xavier Ouellet Recalled By The Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Xavier Ouellet from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Ouellet, 21, has skated in 21 games with the Red Wings this season, recording three points (2-1-3) and a plus-four rating. He has also appeared in 32 games with the Griffins, notching 11 points (1-10-11) and a plus-10 rating. Since rejoining Grand Rapids on Feb. 9, the team has ridden an 11-game point streak (9-0-2-0) to claim the top spot in the Midwest Division for the first time this season. The Bayonne, France, native was also named to the AHL’s Western Conference All-Star Team. In 102 career AHL games, Ouellet has registered 28 points (5-23-28), a plus-13 rating and 42 penalty minutes. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet skated in 223 games with the QMJHL’s Montreal Juniors and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada from 2009-13, recording 160 points (41-119-160) and capturing a spot on the QMJHL First All-Star Team in back-to-back seasons (2012 and 2013). He also represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, picking up three points (1-2-3) in six games.

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Trade Questions For Khan

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Q: If you had to guess right now, do the Wings deal or stand pat? If they make a move, who do you think is most likely to come here, among the players mentioned in trade talk? Or perhaps someone under the radar?

A: My first inclination is to say they will stand pat. The trade market seems to be thin, inflating the cost of average players.

The Red Wings aren't going to deal their first-round pick, any premium prospects or good, young roster players, short of landing an impact player. That doesn't leave many trading chips. They would hesitate to deal their second-round pick but it can be had for the right player. And they're not opposed to trading for a rental if the price is right.

If they can acquire Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils at a reasonable price I could see that happening. He would need to waive his no-trade clause.

He's not big (5-11, 190) and he's old (38), but he would give them an offensive dimension that others (Jeff Petry, Zbynek Michalek) would not. And he might not cost as much as those players.

Zidlicky, a right-handed shot, can quarterback the power play with his passing ability and good shot. Sure, the Red Wings power play is No. 1 in the NHL without him, but he would provide an upgrade.

Q: Surprised to hear Dion Phaneuf's name in the rumor mill since Toronto signed him to that big deal last year and he's their captain. At first, I figured it made no sense for the Wings, but then again, they do have a lot of cap space and he would be an upgrade. What do you think?

A: I think they'll stay clear of Phaneuf. He'd be an upgrade with his booming shot, albeit left-handed, and physical presence, but it makes no sense to assume that contract, which has six more years at a cap hit of $7 million.

read on for more on Phaneuf and other questions and answers...

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The overnight report: Topic potpourri ahead of the trade deadline

We could discuss the fact that the Red Wings face a Nashville Predators team on Saturday (3 PM EST FSD/FS Tennessee/Sportsnet/97.1 FM; AP and NHL.com previews are available; neither team practiced on Friday) on  that happens to have not lost at home twice this season, ass such, the fact that the Predators (who are 8-2-and-1 over their past 11 games and lead the NHL in points) dropped a 2-1 decision to the Wild on Thursday might worry us as "our Wings" wrap up their 6-game road trip with a 3-1-and-1 record (thus far) thanks to Thursday's win over San Jose...

All ahead of an alumni game in which Mickey Redmond and some Wings alums will battle the recently-retired Tomas Vokoun and some Predators alums, or we could talk about the fact that the Tennessean's John Glennon reports that the Stanley Cup's visiting Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, or we could talk about the Wings-Predators match-up in light of the rivalry between the two teams, via the Tennessean's Mike Organ...

Continue Reading »

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Sharks’ Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Brendan Smith

Brendan Smith is listed as "Day to Day" by Red Wings GM Ken Holland (per the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan) after this vicious slew-foot by San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture...

Smith somehow earned a penalty as well as a bump on the noggin for being slew-footed (he will probably play on Saturday), but today, the NHL's Department of Player Safety set things right:

Couture didn't get a major penalty or a suspension for a wrestling move--and there were lots of "wrestling moves" by both sides in what was a horrifically-refereed game last night--but this is better than nothing.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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